Jessica and Khilen

How We Met

We met at Hillsborough high school in 2002. We began dating after our Sophomore homecoming dance and continued into college where we decided to take a break due to the distance being difficult to maintain the relationship while both being so focused on our studies.
He went to UF while I went to Clemson. Even though we weren’t together, we remained close as we had developed a great friendship by this point. Neither one of us had a serious relationship during this time. Love struck again New years eve of 2010 when amongst friends, cupid’s arrow struck. We were determined to make it work again this time. Distance remained a constant factor in our lives as we both went separate ways for medical school but then fought very hard to attend residency in the same city. Thus, Augusta, GA is where we now call home and the first time we have lived in the same city since high school. Khilen was able to move there a year before I but I was close by in Orangeburg, SC to have my influence over our new house. A year later, we were finally together! A year after that, we became a family, after adopting our mini schnauser, Paisley. Then a year later, we’re engaged!

How They Asked

Our engagement took place on June 30, 2018 at the Partridge Inn. It is a historical venue built in 1912 and a place we frequent often for its amazing views of the city and its delectable beverages. It also helps that it’s walking distance from our house. He convinced me to go that morning under the guise of a business brunch to interview a new faculty member in the gynecology oncology department where he was asked to be the resident representative. As I am always down for free food I was in! The night before, we got into an argument over what I was going to wear to this breakfast. I wanted to wear a simple dress that wasn’t overly flashy and appropriate for a business event. He on the other hand, wanted me to wear a strapless, bright and flowy dress. I was very against this dress as I did not want to stand out or feel awkward for wearing something so dressy and flashy to a business event. We argued about this dress all night and even into that morning while walking up the steps to the Partridge Inn.

He led me into the elevator and up to the Penthouse suite where there is a lovely patio that overlooks downtown Augusta. Walking off the elevator, it was dim, there weren’t any noises, and I was sure this wasn’t where we were supposed to be. I turned to Khilen and said, “You must’ve gotten the location wrong. It has to be on the second floor where the event spaces are located.” But then, he led me in a little further where there was a brunch table set up and told me just to go a little further and I was like ok maybe they have stuff set up on the patio. As I walked in, he grabbed my hand and led me out to the patio where a circle of rose petals where
laying to mark where we needed to stand. By this point, I was so confused and kept asking questions like, “where is everybody? Why is there nothing set up? Why are there flowers everywhere? What are we doing here? What is going on?” He then led me around to where I was supposed to stand and said, “We have been together for a while and I know you have been waiting for this….” I continued to ask, “What is going on? The photographer then popped out from the hallway who happened to be our friend, Shelby Stewart, led me down another path of questions. I demanded answers until he got down on one knee and then I finally figured out what was happening. Internally, I wanted to scream yes!!!!! Without even being asked a question but then thought to myself you need to wait, you need to hear the question. I was shocked beyond belief. I had been waiting for this moment forever and it had finally come.

He pulled out the beautiful red box, opened it and inside was the most sparkly and beautiful piece of jewelry I had ever seen in my entire life. Still internally squealing in disbelief at this moment, the fact that it had finally come, and that my really soon to be fiancé kept this a secret from me for so long, and happened to plan the most beautiful setting and scenario for it to happen in, I knew that I was already the luckiest girl in the world and that this was going to be the best day of my life. He eventually, asked the question, “Will you marry me?” Of course, I said “yes”!!!!

The ring was placed on my finger and I don’t think I could stop smiling. We were eventually led over to another area for pictures to commence. But I again had so many questions about the family and if they knew about this? He told me that he did talk with my Dad but that none of our family was available to come up that weekend. We continued taking pictures and about 30 minutes later, our family walked in to surprise us and then the water works really began.

But that wasn’t the only surprise of the day. The engagement extended to a local tavern named Bodega, where we have breakfast often. The outside patio was set up with a spread of meats, cheeses, vegetables, sandwiches, mimosas, and so on. Many of our friends where already there to greet us and enjoy in the festivities. Later that night, we had a dinner amongst family at one of our favorite local restaurants, Able Brown. Our parents brought some of our favorite wines to be uncorked during the dinner and a great meal was had.

Special Thanks

Shelby Stewart
 | Photography
Partridge Inn
 | Location
Flowers on Broad
 | Flowers